Zephyrhills Free Press

Budding New Year

Multiple Construction Projects Underway In The City

By Dave Walters

We said good-bye and, in many cases, good riddance to 2020, but we may have plenty to look forward to in 2021, according to Zephyrhills City Manager Billy Poe.

Now in his second full year at the helm, Poe is optimistic that the new year will bring new improvements to Zephyrhills starting with the completion of the traffic light project on US 301 at Pretty Pond Road.

Work started two months ago on the project that will ultimately eliminate the traffic light on US 301 at Merchants Square Shopping Center and Towne View Shopping Center. Turning lanes are being created now alter traffic patterns.

Work is commencing at Pretty Pond Road to add a turning lane at the north west side of the street. The new light will be installed with completion expected within the next five months.

Once the traffic light is in place, that opens the door for construction for the long-awaited Chik-fil-A at the northwest corner of US 301 and Pretty Pond.

“They said they would start construction when we finish the intersection, so we could be eating Chik-fil-A sandwiches by the end of the year,” said Poe. “That is my hope.”

Large decorative flowerpots are dotting the median on Fifth Avenue thanks to a new Zephyrhills Community Redevelopment Agency project.

“I think it was more for beautification than it was ease of maintenance,” Poe explained. “It’s a good little project that is easily notice downtown.”

Residential growth will be the most noticeable addition to the city in 2021 with the continuation of housing construction at Abbott Park and Abbott Square on the west end of Kossik Road at the former Gore’s Dairy property. Residential construction will continue near Simons Road in the area of the Sarah VandeBerg Tennis and Wellness Center.

Poe also noted that a stone’s throw from the Abbott Park and Abbott Square developments will also be the recently re-zoned Zephyr Commons apartments to be built just southwest of the Zephyr Commons Shopping Center.

A runway extension project at the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport, funded through a state allocation, will be completed in 2021. The multi-million-dollar project is currently out to bid by the city and construction could start as early as March.

Poe said the runway extension project will impact the operations at Skydive City and the city will work with them throughout the construction.

This year will see additional safety features as the city has several sidewalk projects on the calendar.

To look to the future, members of city council will put together its legislative appropriations wish list next week which could include a Seventh Street “Complete Streets” beautification project, and additional runway extension funds.

Poe’s wish list does not involve heavy equipment or construction.

“The one thing the I hope the city sees is more festivals coming back and downtown events,” Poe said. “That is the big thing we’re hoping to have.”

4 thoughts on “Budding New Year

  1. We are snowbirds from Michigan and enjoy hearing about all the updates coming to Zhills. I am wondering about the ALDI we have been hearing about for many years! I love shopping there and feel it would bring much need competition to the other grocery stores in town.
    Also, has anyone given any thought to offering the closed Bealls Outlet store to ALDI? Empty large space, great parking lot, easy accessibility and in a great location on 54 and Allen Rd. If there are any updates on a future ALDI there are lots of us that would like to know if it’s in the works.
    It seems not to matter where ALDI is located, people will find it!
    Thank You for your time.

  2. That’s nice but, the roads can’t handle the current population what infrastructures are going in place to accommodate increase in all subdivisions being slapped up?

  3. I’m glt to see all the upgrades and building, when can we get a community center?

    A place that non-profits can come together an run to cook, provide showers, restrooms for the people in need?

    This would be opened and maintained by different local non-profits .

    This could be built in a area the city would be behind.

    It would be maintained by local non-profits as well.

    Would have a board of directors to keep things ran right.

    This would be open to the public to get involved in.

    We can teach different classes, offer 12 step programs, different health programs, a safe kitchen to cook in and maintain.

    We can rent the kitchen to local food trucks, non-profits and local outreaches to provide a meal for local outreaches.

    Safe storage.

    This could all be done with a board and the city could be behind it, lead it and guide it to what they would like to see as far as a outcome.

    You would have all the feedings out of the parks, you would have all the displaced not hanging around downtown area, you would still have things being done so people are being fed, clothes being provided, a cold weather shelter could be offered in the time of need

    We at Food and Fellowship would love to lead such of program.

    We just don’t know where to go, where the city would get behind such a program and where the community would not say not here.

    That’s why I say you pick the spot and we will do what we have to get the funds, the people and run it .

    Please let us know how we can sevice our community better to make this a better place..

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